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Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 15:59 UK

Bould sets bar for Arsenal youth

Jay Emmanuel (left) and Steve Bould
Head coach Steve Bould (right) celebrates with captain Jay Emmanuel

Arsenal youth-team coach Steve Bould has said his players should be judged on breaking into the first team rather than their FA Youth Cup success.

The Gunners won the trophy on Tuesday by beating Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate.

Bould told BBC London 94.9: "I don't think any of us should be judged on winning the Youth Cup.

"What we should be judged by is how many kids we get in first teams. Now we want to see them getting in our first team [at Arsenal]."

He added: "We've got Kieran [Gibbs] in at the minute, Jack [Wilshere] has been taken into the first team and we're hoping we've got three, four or five more that are capable of that.

"But it's quite difficult because the first team is young at the minute but we think we're producing players."

Bould is also full of praise for Arsene Wenger for keeping tabs on the youngsters' progress.

He said: "He's been fantastic. We all see the manager most days. He has our kids across regularly so he knows everything about them."

Arsenal have now won the FA Youth Cup seven times in their history after a 2-1 victory at Anfield in the second-leg of their final on Tuesday night.

These boys in the main have been brought up in London and have been winning trophies since they were 10 or 11. They know how to win

Head of development Liam Brady

A crowd of 33,600 watched Liverpool try and claw-back a 4-1 deficit but goals from Sanchez Watt and a Daniel Ayala own-goal gave Arsenal victory.

Finnish striker Lauri Dalla Valle had briefly equalised for Liverpool in front of watching manager Rafa Benitez and defender Jamie Carragher.

Ex- Arsenal midfielder Liam Brady, who is now head of development at the Emirates, told BBC London 94.9 there's plenty of local talent in Arsenal's squad.

"These boys in the main have been brought up in London and have been winning trophies since they were 10 or 11. They know how to win," he said.

"They are only very young. Many of them will probably go out on loan now and see how they get on playing in men's football.

"I am confident that they are going to go on and have very good careers both at Arsenal and in the game."

Nine of Arsenal's starting line-up were English and Bould said that Wenger is keen to blood some domestic talent.

"Arsene is always watching these kids and knows everything about them," he said. "They are very talented and there is definitely some real home-grown talent here who could break through."



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